"The internet is exploding with possibilities for conducting social research. Mann and Stewart offer the first in-depth consideration of the prospects and potentials for doing qualitative research on-line. This wide ranging, clearly-written book is essential reading for researchers working at the cutting edge of qualitative methodology." —James Holstein, Marquette University
"Opens to view a whole new avenue for social research. Internet communication is the wave of the future. Mann and Stewart capture its potential with insight, caution, and consummate procedural skill. Pathbreaking in its area of research methodology! Students and researchers will be very pleased with its clarity and usefulness." —Jaber Gubrium, University of Florida Internet
Communication and Qualitative Research is the first textbook to examine the impact of Internet technology on qualitative research methods. Drawing on many pioneering studies using computer-mediated communication (CMC), the authors show how online researchers can employ Internet-based qualitative methods to collect rich, descriptive, contextually-situated data. They discuss the methodological, practical and theoretical considerations associated with such methods as in-depth online interviewing, virtual focus groups, and participant observation in virtual communities. This is a comprehensive and practical guide that:
- Reviews online research practice and basic Internet technology
- Looks in detail at the skills required by the online researcher
- Examines the ethical, confidentiality, security, and legal issues involved in online research
- Considers the theoretical challenges surrounding data collected in a "virtual venue"
- Addresses the social and cultural impact of researching online through a discussion of power, gender, and identity issues in the virtual world
Internet Communication and Qualitative Research will be an indispensable guide for all students and researchers working in the digital age.